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PLDT reports rise in net profits despite economic downturn

3 Mar 2009

Filipino telecoms giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) today announced that its net profit for 2008 climbed 8% year-on-year to PHP38.1 billion (USD776.6 million), driven by strong performances from its cellular, fixed line and ePLDT divisions. PLDT said group service revenues rose by 5% last year to PHP142.9 billion, while consolidated EBITDA was up by 6% y-o-y to PHP87.6 billion; the EBITDA margin was stable at 61% it said. Commenting on the operator’s performance, PLDT President and CEO Napoleon L. Nazareno said: ‘Our core businesses continue to grow despite the global recession but we have no intention of sitting on our laurels. We are fully aware of the extent of the situation and will keep a watchful eye on issues that may affect us.’

The telco is a dominant player in the country’s cellular sector and retained its stranglehold last year thanks to its expanding subscriber base. PLDT’s Smart Communications and Pilipino Telephone Corporation (Piltel) amassed 35.2 million subscribers between them by the end of 2008, helping drive up cellular revenues by 81% to PHP4.3 billion. Meanwhile, subscriber growth of SmartBro, Smart’s wireless broadband service which it owns through its 100%-owned Smart Broadband unit, increased by 81% y-o-y to hit 547,000 at the end of 2008. SmartBro’s consolidated wireless service revenues rose by 8% to PHP93.6 billion in the same period.

PLDT also reported a small rise in fixed line service revenues in 2008, which increased 1% to PHP49.3 billion, driven in part by a rise in data revenues. Nonetheless, PLDT’s consolidated net profit slipped 4% last year to PHP34.6 billion it said, impacted by depreciation expenses and losses from the foreign exchange fluctuations.

Philippines, PLDT Inc. (incl. Smart Communications)

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